How to do reverse stall parking


This week we will be discussing backing up into a parking stall, also known as reverse stall parking.

This particular manoeuvre is just as intimidating as parallel parking, if not more. This will be the last skill you perform for your examiner when you return from your road test. Remember that even if you make the perfect run on your test, if you come back and can’t park, you can still fail your road test. Make sure you know how to reverse stall park both on the left side and the right side.

The same concerns as parallel parking will go through your head. What if there are cars behind me? What if I hit the cars beside me? What if I don’t do it fast enough and someone steals my spot?

With proper instructions and guidance and the right technique, reverse stall parking doesnt have to be scary.

Source: “Why do people back up into parking spaces?” on Quora

The basic steps to reverse stall parking: 

1. Identify a stall and signal between 3 to 5 car lengths before the spot you want. As always, communication is key. If you don’t signal early and give the car behind you enough warning, they will stop directly behind you and not give you enough space to back up.

2. Pull perpendicular, placing the middle of your car to the middle of the stall you want. Make sure you pull close enough to the stalls so you have enough space to swing out to the left if you are parking on the right hand side, or vice versa if you were parking on the left.

3. Assuming you are parking on the right, you then want to swing out to the left at a 55-degree angle. Turn your steering wheel all the way to the left. You know you’ve swung out to the correct angle if you see the right stall line in the bottom of your right side mirror. (This may sound confusing, but your driving instructor will help you understand this step.)

4. Once you’ve correctly angled your vehicle,  you can straighten out your wheel. This will typically be one and a half rotations in most cars. (My students know it as “two toyotas”.)

5. Put the car in reverse and do a 360-degree check.

6. Slowly roll the car and quickly steer the steering wheel all the way to the right. I like to call this the “slow car, fast hands” step for my current and past students. Basically, we are slowly guiding the car into our selected stall.

Note: During this step, you will be driving backwards. This means you need to be looking behind you and checking all around you as you back up. Please refer to our paralell parking post to see our pro tip regarding where you should be looking as you back up.

7. Direct your attention to your right side mirror to see when you are parallel with the right line of the stall. This is the best way to see if you are parallel if your car doesn’t have a back up camera.

8. Once you are parallel, straighten out your wheel. (Again, this is typically one and a half rotations in most cars). If you are in doubt on how you did relative to the two lines you are trying to park between, then roll out.

9. When you decide you want to roll out, make sure you use the maximum space that you are allowed to move forward. The more you move forward, the more space you have behind you to fix if it’s necessary.

10. If you need to fix your placement, then we recommend using half circle rotations of the steering wheel to make any adjustments. This can be discussed with your instructor in detail during lessons.

11. Once you’ve positioned your vehicle to the ideal position between the two lines, you can back up straight. Continue to back up straight until you are fully out of traffic and completely into the stall.

Four reference points to help know when to stop in the stall:

1. Look in your rear view mirror and don’t hit whats behind you, such as a brick wall or post.
2. Match up the middle of your car with the cars beside you. You can’t solely rely on this because the people beside you might have parked poorly or have a different size car than yours.
3. If there are no cars beside you, then put yourself in the middle of the length of the line.
4. If you have a back up camera, then take a peek at the camera to assist you.

12. Park the car. Pull the e-brake up.

Just like parallel parking, every instructor or supervisor you learn from has their own way of executing reverse stall parking. Learn from as many people as you can, picking parts of each so you can find your own style.

I would recommend starting in a empty parking lot. Park in between cones at first, but as you get better and better, challenge yourself, parking beside one car and then start to park in between two cars. Reverse stall parking isn’t a skill you can master overnight. Practice and put enough time. Under the right guidance, you will park like a pro in no time.

Of course, even with all these steps, you will still have many questions. Please feel free to contact us so we can assist you.

Until next time. Keep practicing and keep reading our blog!

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